Pre Brody Bunch Halloween
It’s odd that I love Halloween. I grew up in the cyanide poisoning and razor blade scare era, in a neighborhood without many kids, and with a little brother who seemed to get Croup on many Halloweens. And, whatever costumes I had, always with a plastic mask, which made seeing and breathing difficult, I had to wear my big winter coat over my costume because it was cold.
Early Brody Bunch, Post Halloween = Clearance Finds!
The day after Halloween was another “holiday” chasing 50-75% off candy and costume clearance sales. I no longer eat candy, and sadly, the older Brody Bunch kids no longer play dress up. As my friend told me, October is all about kids planning the very perfect Halloween costume and then completely changing the said costume choice on October 30th. True.
Halloween Traditions Didn’t Go According to Plan
This Halloween season, things were pretty hectic. The Brody Bunch missed screening the entire It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. We didn’t honor anyone’s specific costume wishes. Our car broke down outside of the pumpkin patch. We finally purchased pumpkins at the grocery store, five days ago, and these uncarved pumpkins are taking up real estate on my kitchen floor.
Pjs Doubled Up as Costumes, That was my Intended Plan
Smartly, I welcomed each kid to pick out new warm onesie pajamas with the understanding that these pjs would double up as Halloween costumes. Brilliant! All went well until one daughter requested a $5 racoon mask and wore dark lipstick with the mask and was happy. Another daughter wore a $400 leather jacket, and decided that with her friends, she would be in a biker gang. My older son, for the first time, wasn’t a Baltimore Oriole. Instead, he was a rooster, thanks to his pajamas. I love that he had a costume rather than his beloved baseball jersey because the shirt reminded me of what older kids wear in the spirit of still wanting to trick or treat, but not dress up, and I wasn’t ready for that. My younger son, he didn’t want to be a Minion, but we ran out of time, so he was a Minion. I never dress up, but was sick of being cold, even while wearing my winter coat like I did when I was a child. So, I wore my daughter’s monkey suit onesies and I was warm. Moving forward, I will now be a monkey on Halloween, or a Minion.
We gave up our cute Halloween totes and resorted using our pillowcases. Between team jerseys, dark lipstick, and pillowcases, these are Halloween signs that the kids are getting older.
Present Day Brody Bunch Halloween – Our Plan
Fast forward to Halloween with the Brody Bunch. For several years, we have been meeting at one family’s home, quickly eat pizza, tweak costumes, and split into predetermined groups, do a photoshoot and then leave. The older kids, for the first time, got a ride into a neighboring area. And, we all agreed upon a time to stop where we were, and walk towards a specific house to end the night together. The meet up house is very welcoming and hospitable whereas the grill was hot, the chili was simmering, drinks were flowing, and kids traded candy while parents mingled on the front lawn around the bonfire. We hit perfection. As crazy as life is, and the world has become, these few hours are perfect.
Reflections While Candy Hoarding, Thanks to the Firemen
As we walked the neighborhood streets with friends, I was sad to recognize, that the Brody Bunch is getting older. We won’t be trick or treating forever. So between that and our local fire department, I was quite reflective. The neighborhood fire department, hit with budget cuts, had the trucks out driving around with their lights on. Every few houses, the truck would stop and firefighters handed out candy. It was the kindest gesture which now motivates me to help “fill the boot” at future firefighter fundraisers. Our firefighters went above and beyond being good neighbors.
Our Kid Found The Perfect Halloween Spot, Because Their Friends’ Families Are So Welcoming
The history of our great Halloween stems from my then 9-year-old daughter hearing of a spot where we should trick-or-treat, just a mile away from our home, and near their school friends. We were quickly embraced and became part of the Halloween landscape. Pounds of candy for the kids and red Solo cups for the parents to have a cold one or a glass of wine. Wow, my kid knows how to scope out the good spot!
Most of these friends, we met through Little League baseball. Many of the dads coach. And, those who don’t play ball, are the neighbors. This is a great pastime in modern history – neighbors visiting, kids having their independence roaming the streets and friends being together. Kids have a night to explore neighborhoods independently. Something kids today really don’t do in this world. Neighbors were outside, people were visiting, eating and drinking. Being free, social, and euphoric seems like a pastime too. Again, it is a perfect few hours.
Candy Sorting and Trading, It’s a Ritual
When we got home, pretty late on a school night, our three younger kids organized their candy and started sorting and trading. They have always done this as a Halloween ritual. Our oldest child left his candy untouched, hopefully brushed his teeth, and went to bed. Without any requests, the kids handed over about 50 pounds of candy for me to donate excluding a mango and Chanukah gelt (chocolate candy coins).
Halloween, It’s a Wrap
I miss the days of matching sibling costumes. I recognize that our trick or treating days are numbered. I will always treasure the Halloween candy sorting and trading. Being with my family and many of our friends at the end of the night, reminds me of the sweetness (pun intended) of being part of a wonderful village. Candy, independance, family and friends, traditions and the sweetest of old and new memories with the Brody Bunch.